Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Old Guard's BoE: Let Them Eat Steak


What, Marie Antoinette was on the Old Guard's BoE,too?

So she got a freebie to Atlantic City with Louis Picardo and the HVAC Repair Guy AND a $300 stipend?

(You know, that junket paid with Hoboken's education budget back in 2005.... the one that Frank Raia, Theresa Burns, Carmelo Garcia,  and Francis Rhodes-Kearns approved?)

Well, I sure hope Marie didn't lose her head at the craps table.

But yours might explode when you see this- page 157 from the 2005-2006 BoE audit:


Wow!

And that's not ALL...  there are more, more, more  restaurant dinners in that audit... do you wonder what a Connors classroom could have done with that eating-spree cash?

I do.

People who'd rather buy themselves restaurant dinners with education money than use it to educate kids DON'T belong on our School Board.

And they certainly should NOT ever control it again.


GA Fun Fact: Marie Antoinette never said that famous quote attributed to her

"Let them eat cake," sneered Marie Antoinette at the plight of the Paris poor rioting outside the castle walls.


Or did she?


This quote is often used to paint a portrait of the former queen of France as a cruel aristocrat, indifferent to the suffering masses. Truth is, she never said it, and nobody knows for sure who did. 

Old Guard's BoE: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!


Reader ddavid was somewhat incredulous yesterday at the notion that the Old Guard's BoE could actually have hired then fired 118 people in a single year (after which they collected paychecks in the amount of $6 MILLION) as GA wrote yesterday.

"...Insane, if true" wrote ddavid.

ddavid, honey.  Exactly.  Insane.

It's the "if true" part of your comment that concerns me.

Because until the public wraps it's collective head around the scope of thievery that went on at the BoE a few short years ago UNDER OUR NOSES and UNDER the management of some CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS who seek to grab control AGAIN aided by FORMER 'Old Guard' BOARD MEMBERS who are rumored to be running again, then history may repeat itself.

Have we learned these people have no shame?

So ddavid, here you go. On page 40. The audit found that in the Old Guard's BoE:

     Now, do you get it?

    How many cats and dogs were on the BoE payroll? How many people were on there 2, 3, 4 times?  Was someone's granny getting a paycheck, too?

    NOW do you see WHY they are CLAWING to get their snouts back in our $59 million dollar school budget?

    Now do you see why they'll do ANYTHING to defile the reputation of Kids First, who have brought sunlight, transparency, ethics, fairness and have STOPPED the STEALING from our kids?

    Props to Theresa Minutillo, the lone BoE member on that panel, the Kids First pioneer, who fought for ethics and rule and order in such an enviroment.  GA found this letter on Ed Mecka, written in 2006:

    It was incredible and appalling, as I watched Board of Ed. President Jim Farina rushing to vote on his "Resolution" to appoint a former board member (who was defeated in last April's Election) to fill the vacancy of current board member Jack Raslowsky (who had just presented his letter of resignation) prior to that meeting.
    Well, folks Minutillo tried.

    I have a new respect for her after reading this audit, seeing how awful it really was; I don't know that my spirit would have survived that kind of beating, enough to keep plugging away. Minutillo is a true pioneer.

    Well, thanks to new leadership we are in a different world now.  Our money goes to our schools and not into the pockets of  Old Guard 'friends'.

    Believe it or not, there's plenty more in that audit to make you throw up.

    So come back soon for a good barf.

    Read it and weep: 2005-1006 BoE audit, page 40

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012

    Old Guard's BoE: Payroll Scam #1

    click to read

    From the scandalous 2005-2006 BoE audit's payroll analysis (page 43)- the first of a number of ways YOU and the CHILDREN of our district got ripped off by the Old Guard foxes in charge of the BoE piggy bank...

    A $6 Million dollar GIVE-AWAY: 118 employees were terminated within 30 days of their hire date and then  PAID after their termination. 

    GA can understand one, possibly two 'oversights'  but... 118???  

    In one year.

    Out of those, 117 were paid 90 days after termination, the other 1 was paid in the period between the 31st and 90th day of termination... for a grand total of $6, 044,444.

    That money could have bought Connors new textbooks, a new library and new computers (ones that appear in the school), and then some...money that should have been used on educational programs or for the KIDS.

    That was YOUR money. 

    Now do you understand why the ruckus at the Board meeting on 2/14...   why the Old Guard was fighting tooth and nail to stop the movement of elections to November... the theatrics of the Old Guard players... and why they are trying so hard to topple Kids First?

    It's ALL there-  the systemic corruption documented in that 297-page audit.

    Yes, they want it back; they want  our School Budget as their ATM and jobs bank AGAIN, and are working hard to discourage involved, activist parents from using the public schools by having surrogates bad mouth them online 24/7.

    Read the audit... or skim it.

    We know the Hoboken Reporter, Jersey Journal and other local media won't tell this story.   So please share it with your friends and neighbors. 

    More Payroll Scams to follow.

    Hint:  the Old Guard's BoE pays you even when you're dead!

    Look Who Went to Atlantic City


    The HVAC Repair Guy!  Remember him?

    Oh sure, you do.

    He's the guy who was paid $96K/ year to phone in service repairs for wall AC units and televisions... He's the guy whose contract was NOT renewed by Kids First when it came up early in the 2009-2010 school year. 

    The HVAC Guy was installed by the Old Guard.  And they liked him soooo much, that...

    Both he AND Louis Picardo, Hoboken's Tax Collector, got freebie trips to Atlantic City PLUS $300 STIPENDS available to SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS only.   (Isn't it nice to have friends?)

    Well, freebies for THEM- but you and I paid for it. kaching kaching

    That was quite a 'mistake' made by the Raia School Board majority,  wasn't it?

    I wonder if  Frank Raia or  Theresa Burns reminded either of those 2 during the whole 3-day trip that they weren't School Board members therefore shouldn't be shacking up at Trump Plaza on the taxpayers' dime?

    No wonder they can't stand Kids First.  No more parties in Atlantic City with FRIENDS, paid for by TAXPAYERS.


    Folks, this audit will make your head spin.  Take a look- click here.
    GA Note:
    Readers are contacting me citing various audit line items that shocked and disgusted them.  Please, if possible provide a page number for the respective revolting abuse of your tax dollars so that I may access it.  That would be extremely helpful, thank you. Reach me at: grafixavenger666@gmail.com

    Hired!

    It looks like one of our message board favorites, prosbus a.k.a. Hoboken Questioner and many others, will be spending less time trashing our public school system,  mayor, her Directors, the City Council majority online.

    How does GA know?

    Because a reader sent me this terrific news- he's an official on-air news media personality!  With an online bio and pic!

    WOW! 

    I guess that means his political operative days are over, right?   

    Because a news reporter for a CBS radio station or his wife acting as proxy, shouldn't be engaging in partisan politics, right?  

    If a news reporter were also writing for a partisan web site or attending partisan political strategy sessions or disseminating partisan political propaganda  or posting partisan political propaganda under pseudonyms (prosbus, Hoboken Questioner, etc.) online, that could be problematic for his cooperate employer, CBS, right?   Because they don't pay him for friendship.

    So, this is terrific news, and posted online are his bio and pic  for all to see!

    For your convenience, GA took a screen cap:


    Congratulations!

    Reader Email on Shocking 2006 BoE Audit

    Folks, this story is just hitting...  GA posted the scandalous BoE audit from 2005-2006 last night.  

    The audit, never presented publicly, has languished on the NJDOE site since 2008.  Until now.

    The shocking document is a daunting 297-pages, and although GA  broke this scandal only hours ago, readers are reacting with outrage:
    Burns, Raia & Co. were looting the BoE and this is the smoking gun.

    No wonder this audit has been kept under wraps.

    It's a stinging indictment of how they view the BoE: as their own personal ATM. I'm simply stunned at what I'm reading and I thought the 2008-09 audit was mind boggling with Raslowsky hiding admin costs in the teacher salary line among other violations.

    The payroll audit violations (numbers 1-10) section staring on page 28-39 it is f'n mind blowing (it includes people being paid after death and people being paid who aren't properly documented as employees in even the most rudimentary way, pay past termination dates, outrageous overtime, people being paid with no deductions, incredible stipends, incredible salary increases in one calendar year, employees receiving more than 52 paychecks in a 2 year period....)

    ....and then payments that exceed original invoices (numbers 11-13) pages 40-41 again will blow your mind!

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    *New Feature* Old Guard Looted the BoE

    Folks, this will absolutely blow your mind.

    GA was told about an 'old' Hoboken BoE audit online at the NJDOE for the school year 2005 - 2006.  The 2005-2006 School Board members were: Frank Raia, Theresa Burns, Carmelo Garcia, Frances Rhodes-Kearns, Jimmy Farina,  Jack Raslowsky, Maggie Porata,  and Theresa Minutillo.

    The audit is a stunning 297 pages-  click HERE to see it.

    Mind you, this audit has NEVER BEEN PRESENTED PUBLICLY and GA did not even know it existed until today. 

    It is an amazing document; there is an overwhelming amount to review. From vast amounts of technology equipment ordered for Connors School  (FBI guys, check the invoices and serial numbers to see if ANY of this equipment actually made it there or else see what Patrick Ricciardi knows), more than a hundred cell phone accounts, NUMEROUS unexplained legal fees, food (restaurants),  flowers, paying employees' traffic tickets, large dubious billings without any supporting invoices or documentation...

    The bottom line: the audit is a window into the Old Guard corrupt practices of  feeding at the School Budget (your money) like hungry little piggies at a trough INSTEAD of using the money for EDUCATIONAL purposes.

    It's WHY the Old guard is fighting Kids First tooth and nail for control of the school board.

    This is 'the clock' they want to turn back to.  GA will be featuring line items from this audit in a new feature called "Old Guard Looting at the BoE'- until I come up with a better title.

    But you get the point.  In no particular order...


    Hmmm... how could that be?

    Maybe Theresa Burns remembers who stayed in those extra rooms? Or Frank Raia?

    Oh, wait...


    Well, isn't that special?

    Taxpayers of Hoboken, aren't you glad to have paid for Louis Picardo's School Board Association freebie to Atlantic City PLUS his $300 stipend?  I hope he scored on the slots.

    Maybe Theresa Burns remembers how Louis did at Black Jack?  Or Frank Raia?

    Stay tuned! And please by all means, take a look at the audit yourself- click HERE.

    Leper-Con Countdown

    left panel: Hansen-Ballicus, the human leprosy virus   right panel: Fratus-Obnoxioucus, the human leper-con virus

    So our city dodged a bullet with the Snookster... and here she is on her first day of filming in Jersey City...

    Where's Elmo? (credit:Jersey Journal)

    But what will Hoboken look like the Day After, on March 4th?    You know, the day after Leper-Con. 

    You haven't heard of it?

    Leper-con is the newly-created bar crawl to honor the life of St. Patrick.


    St. Patrick facts: 

    Patrick preached the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message. Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions.  Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.


    Why a shamrock?

    I hope you people understand how a bar crawl is the highest form of respect to honor the life of this pious man of G-d.  

    If you don't, ask David Liebler.  He'll explain it to you.

    Now I wish to take this moment on the subject of Hoboken's St. Patrick's Day to apologize to my dear friend Irene and to her family for my words which offended you.  I respect you deeply and the many contributions of your family to Hoboken.  
    Cha d’dhùin doras nach d’fhosgail doras.

    As for Leper-con, the bar-crawl...

    Like the similarly-named infectious disease which invades the human body and attacks it's surface (skin), will the leper-con virus invade Hoboken in vast numbers, overwhelming it's immune system (HPD) and flooding it's arteries (streets) with vomit and bodily fluids?

    Or... will Leper-con be a bust?

    Personally, GA thinks it will be somewhere in the middle- a fraction of the 'usual' turnout compared to  parade day.  But folks will come.

    And my gut tells me they'll be better behaved due to the scaled-down celebration. 

    If not, there's always a cure.

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    Look What the Wind Blew In! - UPDATED


    Yikes! What happened to Perry Belefiore?

    Perry, honey... GA's worried about you.

    Have you been drinking that Fructis by Garnier instead of washing your god-like, fluffy silver mane with it?

    Honey, your letter in this week's Hoboken Reporter puts the BLOW in bloviation... I haven't seen burst of gas like that since that pipeline exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Look out everybody!  Here he comes!

    Now GA heard about your bit of theater at the last Board of Education meeting... and I gotta tell you I thought it was cool. 

    Very sixties.

    GA is all about the oppressed little guy trying to free himself from beneath the crushing, authoritarian thumb of The Man. 

    We think alike; your letter invoked the 60's mistrust of government then compared your experience at the BoE to the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

    Fluffy-haired One, you got the sixties angle right, but that's an odd analogy (and I'm being polite).  If we are massacre-shopping, I would have picked the one at Kent State instead.

    Because that night you stood up to The Man, Rose Markle, heroically, without concern for life or limb, like those protesters did to the National Guard at Kent State, Ohio.  Remember that still photo of the  young man standing opposite a line of gunmen with riffles aimed straight at him?

    Just like you, at the podium that night up against the ladies of the School Board.  So courageous.

    Yep those students were protesting the American invasion of Cambodia while you demanded your right to pass wind for 3 more minutes. 

    Make Love, Not War.  Blow Gas,Three More.

    You ARE a child of the sixties, Perry- you've even got that hippy hair.

    Well, I'm thankful that The Man (Rose) didn't have you removed.  Instead you were assisted by another Freedom-fighter Nick Calicchio. 

    And in the end The Man (Rose) only gave you ONE more minute... but surely your fate was better than those 4 murdered at Kent State.  In your analogy, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, the 7 were killed were mob associates- in the backdrop of the Chicago gang wars during Prohibition.

    Come to think of it... maybe Perry's analogy to gangsters WAS more appropriate than mine to noble peace-warriors... 

    Well, once the HR posts Perry's letter  you can read his flowery dissent against The Man yourself.

    I've gotta warn you, he uses a lot of big, high-falutin' words: 'fait accompli', exemplar, etc., mixed in with craven partisan political ones: cronies, First Husband, Zimmer's board members, etc.

    It's kind of confusing... like being served Campbell's Soup at a fine French restaurant.

    But that's why I like Perry- he's a Hoboken original.  

    I just hope he gets well soon.




    (Updated, 2/27  6:15 am)
    Here's a taste of the Belefiore letter which was not online when I posted yesterday.

    Warning:  GA recommends you coat your face in kevlar or any type of safety shield prior to reading this for protection from the blast (of hot gas).
    Of course, I spoke. Trying to convey how the elected unilaterally extending their time in office was a major concern, I spoke of our representative form of government, which allows the elected to make decisions in the name of the people for a prescribed period and how this contract between the elected and the governed cannot be amended, to extend time in office, without consent from both parties. Midway through I was told my time had elapsed and threatened with arrest if I continued to speak. Debate on these consequential issues stymied, the threat of removal by uniformed police indicates not the lofty stated goal of increased voter participation but a tyrannical board obsessed with abject self-preservation.

    I recognized a fait accompli and the affront to the democratic process was exemplar. Zimmer’s board members will tell you other districts enacted similar resolutions, or how not voting on the budget isn’t important. Left unsaid is how recent similar effort to extend the terms of Mayor Zimmer and her council cronies was rebuked by the people.

    I don’t want to conflate the people’s right to set the course of term limits through referendum with the operations of the district. Our goal should be to provide the best education. However, the tumultuous 1960s imparted a healthy suspicion of government leaving indelible denying any governing body more than the will of the people freely gives. The will of the people was never considered at the board’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

    Peter P. Belfiore
    Wow!

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    Coercion and Cape Canaveral

    An anonymous blogger on MSV writes:
    Coercion is a 4th degree crime punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. This is the maximum sentence. 1st offender in NJ for a crime of this degree usually gets what is called PTI or pre trial intervention, complete 1 year probation and they throw out the conviction.

    However if he pleads out he opens doors to civil action for slander and libel.

    To get the HPD to file charges you have to have serious evidence and not some complaint. From the looks of all of this, I think Perry is really screwed and his only out is to settle out of court and hope the victim drops the charges. Word on the street is the victim wants to take this all the way and has retained legal counsel for both the criminal matter and civil matter which will be filed next week.
    Uh-oh.

    You know GA once blogged on Prison Pets, in fact with Klaussen in mind.  You see, he'd been threatening me about my board position and my (then) Democratic Commitee-woman position quite viciously on the nj.com Hoboken forum.  Here are more threats.  And more.

    So back then I mused about what kind of pet might replace Klaussen's beloved pooch when he got sent off to the Big House.

    These were his prison pet options: a cockroach, mouse, tick, bird, head lice, weevil or a loving friend with tattoos- Pick ONE.  (Or more)


    Oops, it looks like someone picked HIM for a prison pet.

    I guess that post was prophetic.

    You know, GA has no idea if this case will get off the launch pad, but it looks like the victim is headed to Cape Canaveral for a March 6th launch at 1 pm.

    10... 9... 8.. 7... 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...  

    "Next on the docket, Case No. CH-00518-12... I find the Defendant Perry Klaussen GUILTY as charged.  He will be remanded immediately to the nearest Maximum Security Penitentiary to break big rocks into little ones on the Chain Gang for a period of 7 consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole and no conjugal visits with his dog..."

    Aaaah... was that as good for you as it was for me?  

    GA and many, many others- including the long list of The Libeled- hope that this complaint has 'juice'.

    And, you know what?  No matter what the outcome, we all can applaud the victim for taking a stand against the threats of a malevolent bully and his silent partner.  It's about time someone did.

    But in fact, there are whispers of yet another someone, one of The Libeled, taking action against the  cyber-smear peddler.  And that's all I can say.

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Get Thee to the Suburbs

    GA just happened upon a thread over at Hoboken Moms that's kicked up quite a stir.

    It has to do with a new school district policy:  Early Childhood programs will be assigned by proximity to the child's home and not by choice.

    This change hasn't received much attention, but here was one parent's reaction:
    We were just informed by Adriana Coppola, Director of Early Childhood, that the school district is doing away with the ranking system to place our kids in the public school system. This year they are placing new students based on where you live. In our case this means the closest school to where we live (downtown) is Connors.

    Unfortunately, we have heard nothing but bad things about Connors and I refuse to send my daughter there. I'm not sure if this is because of its location to the "projects" on Harrison Street but I assume it is. In out case our 5yr old would be going to school with kids that live there. I am appalled at this change and are quite honestly thinking of moving to the suburbs just so she doesn't' have to go to school there.

    I wanted to get other peoples opinions in this matter. Please feel free to speak your mind.
    Well, others sure did- speak their mind.

    Some were brief:
    I will speak my mind - I find your post absolutely appalling!  Please do consider moving.
    Some not:
    There have been posts in the past on this board that have shown poor taste in it's content, but I have to stay that your post is absolutely the most ignorant post yet!

    How dare you insult those that live in the projects, their CHILDREN, and assume that the conditions in Conners which you feel are poor are due to these individuals? You don't know any of these people, and it's obvious with your pretentious comments that you have no desire to get to know any of them. You are no better than anyone living in the "projects", I don't care who you are, what you do for a living, or where you are living. In fact, you are no better than anyone else on this board or in this town.

    DID YOU EVEN FOR ONCE WHILE YOU WERE WRITING SUCH AN IGNORANT POST THINK THAT THERE MAY BE PARENTS ON THIS BOARD WHO LIVE IN THE PROJECTS AND SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO CONNERS? HOW DO YOU THINK THEY FEEL READING SUCH INSULTING COMMENTS? The one good thing about this board is you can say what you want and hide behind your computer, but I challenge you to stand in front of these families at a BOE meeting or even in front of Conners. I'm sure you wouldn't do that. Only a coward would make such comments as you did.

    If you had an ounce of class you would post an apology to those you may have insulted. Those living in the "projects' may not be "YOUR KIND OF PEOPLE", but they are people, they have feelings, AND THEY DESERVE SOME RESPECT!

    Many of those individuals who live in that area will remain in town after you move your family to the suburbs. And if you have moved here recently, many of them were here before you came to town. People like you are the reason there is such a disconnect in this town among many of it's residents.

    Shame on you for insulting those in your own community!
    Here's one that resonated with me... I agree with the author's sentiment.
    Last week it was announced that Connors was getting the funding for the much-needed renovation, so I'll be interested to see how the renovation will affect all the building changes that Superintendent Toback talked about at the last Board of Ed meeting.

    I attended the last Board of Ed meeting, and Sup. Toback talked about moving the administrative offices to Demarest, and the creating some type of early childhood autism program at Wallace, as well as getting rid of the really old trailers that have been outside Wallace too long. They all sounded like positive changes and a much better use of space, however now that Connors will be getting renovated, it may all change -- just two years ago, Connors was supposed to temporarily move to Demarest while they were doing the renovation, and then the funding was pulled, and it never happened.

    I'll be interested to see how this all pans out. I think it's a great opportunity for the families of southwest Hoboken to all go to Connors School if they do decide to use addresses to assign schools to children.

    This is how it works in the suburbs....you are assigned to your neighborhood school, and if you don't like it, well then, send your kid to private school or move. I view this new policy (if in fact it is true) as only a good thing, especially if Connors goes through a renovation.
    Yes... imagine that.

    Imagine if all the families in the Hoboken's southwest started USING their local school, and I say that to all families everywhere in Hoboken within the sound of my voice... if we USE our schools, bring our vigilance and our expectations with our children, the schools will rise to be as we want them to be.

    GA believes in public school education.  My 9 year-old goes to Wallace. She's an A+ student, made First Honor Roll, won a Johns Hopkins Honor Award, got an 1187 and 900Q+ respectively on her reading (SRI) / math (SMI)- wow... and I am BRAGGING about this to let you know that she's a PRODUCT of public education in Hoboken.  

    So am I (in NYC).

    GA grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens and was bussed to a school in East Elmhurst- the school population was very ethnically (and economically) diverse.  Kids are not wired to think about such things, so I have to say in hindsight that spending those formative years there was learning beyond books.

    The kind of learning you don't realize you've gotten until you grow up and notice there are people who avoid diversity.

    Some of them flock to the suburbs and some find niches where they feel protected.  Of course fear is not the only reason folks move out of the city, or choose alternative schooling.  But as the parent who initiated the thread expressed, it was the thought of her child mingling with children living in the HHA that had her "thinking of moving to the suburbs".

    And frankly, there are others similarly reluctant to use their local public school. For that reason.

    How to change this?

    Suspected Co-Conspirator a Scared Kitten, Backtracks

    By now most of you know of the criminal complaint filed by Rory Chadwick against Perry Klaussen of Hobokne411.

    Rory alleges that at a chance meeting on the street, Klaussen threatened to 'expose' his past and ruin his business if Rory did NOT have a friend drop his copyright-infringement lawsuit against him (Klaussen). That happened on December 20, 2011.

    On January 6th, Rory told me about it- but asked me not to post the details.  All I can say is that what he told me then was consistent with the details of his police complaint filed on February 21, 2012.

    Why did he wait to file?  I don't know.

    Perhaps it's because Klaussen lowered the boom on Rory when he published this hit piece on Monday, February 20:


    And true to-his-word that he would 'expose' his past if the suit weren't dropped, Klaussen's article excoriated Rory for his March 2nd fundraiser for victims of the 300 Washington Street fire.  In it, Klaussen called Rory a "former scam artist convict" and "ex-felon." 

    Well, what good is a smear campaign if it's not a conspiracy?  Meaning teamwork. Rah, rah, rah!

    A foul wind named Boink blew into Patch on Monday, February 20th- to propagate the hatchet job published that same day on Hoboken411.

    Pitchers and hitters.

    Boink deploys Klaussen's identical talking points, telling us to donate to the Red Cross and not the "convicted felon."


    The next morning, our suspect co-conspirator takes Klaussen's campaign to destroy Rory a step further;  he posts a link to  NYS Prisoner information.


    Remember, whatever mistakes Rory made in his past he has risen from them, rehabilitated himself as a business owner and valued member of the Hoboken community.  Rory's philanthropy has made a difference, and he's made our community a better place.  Given what he's been through, he should be praised, not mocked.

    Not 'LOL'ed by miscreants like Boink.

    Well, apparently the published criminal complaint, and his involvement with the Hoboken411 hit job have made our co-conspirator nervous...  nervous enough to backtrack... to pretend he's not on Team Klaussen... 


    In case you didn't fall for the first try, this weak-kneed, spineless co-conspirator really moonwalks now, pretending he's no political operative-  just an even-handed observer of the "mean-spirited online banter" on Patch for "entertainment."


    What a scared little pus... kitty cat.  A kitten.

    Hey, Boink if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.  (And how's that Hoover working for you?)

    Well, Case No. CH-00518-12 is scheduled to be heard in Jersey City on March 6th, 2012.   Stay tuned for further details.

    Hands up!

    The Criminal Complaint against Klaussen


    Whew, what a relief!

    Da Horsey's got the story up...  I've been  waiting, waiting, waiting for this to break out of the barn: the criminal complaint against Perry Klaussen of Hoboken411- that's Beth Mason's "news source."  

    GA's known of the incident for awhile.

    I didn't know Rory had filed an actual complaint until the other day when he shared it with me privately.

    I didn't have to ask what prompted him.

    The complaint charges "criminal coercion".

    Mind you, the information about Klaussen's victim is a matter of public record.  And GA is not a lawyer.

    Here is the legal definition of criminal coercion:

    2C:13-5. Criminal coercion

    a. Offense defined. A person is guilty of criminal coercion if, with purpose unlawfully to restrict another's freedom of action to engage or refrain from engaging in conduct, he threatens to: …….. (3) Expose any secret which would tend to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;
     Now, the key is 'secret'.

    Again, the information Klaussen alleged to have on his victim is not secret.  

    But is the manner in which Klaussen threatened his victim if he did not respond to a demand actionable?  And the fact that he carried out his threats on the victim?

    Here it is: Klaussen's threat fulfilled:


    Not to mention Klaussen's accomplice posting on Patch as 'Boink', soliciting the public to look up the victim on a NY State Prisons link.

    Was 'Boink' the investigative writer that Klaussen taunted his victim about- the one he said was writing "a piece" on him with the intent of hurting his business?

    I suppose 'Boink' will be deposed because he is clearly part of this coercion conspiracy. Note the 'biographical' grenades he lobs at Klaussen's victim:


    The perp and his accomplice have unwittingly provided the 'proofs' needed for the victim to take the to Court.

    Will he?  GA hopes so.

    And I hope other victims are emboldened by Mr. Chadwick's courage.

    Because the acts of good will of a man who's turned his life around,  is a true story of redemption and the power of a loving G-d.  He's survived hardships most of us will never know; been through hell and come out the other side. And the evil of Klaussen and his co-hort, to twist this story of redemption; to try to destroy what his victim built- a business and a place hoboken's community- speaks of their darkness.

    And I hope they will be repudiated in civil court for their disgusting actions.

    GA Note: Da Horsey has  the story of the legal dispute that the victim was asked to squelch.

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Timmy Votes for the Rats


    In a decision sure to be very unpopular with his 4th Ward constituents, last night Councilman Tim Occhipinti voted down funding to raze the fire-gutted building on First and Jackson Streets.

    The boarded- up rat trap- both  an eyesore and a hazard to passers-by, has stood in it's present condition since the December fire that destroyed it and left it's tenants homeless.  4th Ward residents are quite upset  one citing, "This is a serious health and safety issue for our neighborhood."

    The same resident implied that the socioeconomic status of the surrounding demographic was the reason for the inaction: "If this structure existed anywhere else in Hoboken, it would have been demolished,"

    Irate resident, I have another reason for the inaction: Tim Occhipinti.

    Because last night he voted DOWN $95K contained in the $750K emergency budget appropriations for the Jackson Street building demolition.

    Yep, YOUR Councilman.

    Now, Timmy TALKS a good game, but that's ALL he does. Here's what he told Patch on February 6th:
    Councilman Tim Occhipinti, who represents the area where the building stands on First and Jackson Streets, said he would like to see a small park be built there, as well as across the street. 

    "The city should be looking to acquire this land," Occhipinti said in a phone interview late last week. "Eventually," he continued, "I'd like to see a pocket park where the building burned down."
    Timmy the TALKER.

    Hey Tim, if you're going to talk the TALK, how about VOTING where your mouth is?

    Because you didn't vote FOR the park, you voted FOR the RATS. 

    You can't have BOTH.  If you really meant what you said, you'd have voted to get rid of the health and safety hazard on First and Jackson, to make way for that park you TALKED the TALK about.

    Nope, Tim voted for the RATS instead of the PARK.

    Well, GA's got another Timmy exclusive: a letter to his constituents explaining his vote:



    Russo-Castellano-Occhipinti Won't Pay the HFD


    The crumbling ruins of 300 Washington Street loom over it's neighbor, Steven's Cooperative School at 301 Bloomfield Street, which houses programs for 2 year-olds.

    The blaze did it's worst visible damage to the portion of the building which abuts the school. In fact, GA witnessed bits of the adjacent facade falling to the street last Monday morning.

    The efforts of the HFD to protect the fire from spreading to the school and other adjacent structures were heroic.  The firemen worked through the night and into the next day to control and minimize the roaring blaze.

    And they succeeded to spare Stevens and other surrounding structures. But still, the compromised structural integrity of the damaged building is being evaluated and it may have to be demolished.  If it is in imminent danger of collapse, the school and it's children are in harm's way.

    The question is, will our City Council minority- Russo, Castellano and Occhipinti condemn the building, or condemn the SCHOOL since they WON'T let the City pay for the Jackson Street building demolition.

    So If these rogue City Council members refuse to pay for the demolition of ONE structurally unstable fire-damaged building- on Jackson Street- why should we expect them to pay for the demolition- if needed- on Washington Street?

    Severe damage on 3rd Street facade, adjacent to the school (credit: Joe Shine/The Jersey Journal) 
    See for yourself, in Patch:
    For the second week in a row, the city council failed to approve roughly $750,000 in temporary emergency appropriations on Wednesday night, during a special meeting that was called by the mayor last week.

    On Wednesday the resolution—which needed six votes—failed in a 5-3 vote, with councilmembers, and mayoral critics, Theresa Castellano, Michael Russo and Tim Occhipinti voting "no." Councilwoman Beth Mason was absent.

    The more than $750,000 in appropriations proposed by the city, includes about $200,000 in legal fees and overtime to fire fighters. It also includes $95,000 to potentially tear down the building on the corner of First and Jackson, which was destroyed in a Dec. 18 fire. Without passing the appropriations, that can't be done.
    Timmy's OK with an structurally-unsound burnt-out building standing in the 4th Ward- the ward he represents?

    I wonder what his constituents think about that?


    Maybe Timmy owes them a letter of explanation...

    So, it these bitter City Council politicians won't pay for the demolition of  a burned-out building on Jackson Street, why would they pay for demolition (if required) to the building on Washington Street?

    That's Terry Castellano's Ward.

    And if they wouldn't pay for the Jackson Street tear-down, would you expect Russo, Castellano and Occhipinti to PAY our firefighters overtime for working through the night to put out the blaze at 300 Washington Street?
    "Tonight the City Council minority refused to fund to fight the Monarch project, defend the City against litigation, and pay our firefighters for overtime due to the recent fire," Mayor Dawn Zimmer said in a statement after the meeting. "This refusal is an irresponsible breach of their fiduciary duty to the City of Hoboken."
    There's your answer.

    Russo-Castellano-Occhipinti won't pay their overtime

    Well folks, I've omitted Mason from today's roll-call because she was 'out-of-town' for the meeting.  (Funny, how she always misses 'problematic' votes.) 

    But if she wanted to be there she could have. College tours can be scheduled on the weekend; a friend of mine is taking his kid to visit 2 out-of-town colleges this weekend.  Because of his responsibilities at work.  Mason's responsibility is to an entire City.  So save the excuses, Councilwoman.

    Let's hear WHY these clowns turned their back on the HFD, why they won't pay for the City to demolish a burned out building, and what their intentions are to appropriate funds for 300 Washington if it needs to be demolished.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Politicizing Good Will

    click to enlarge
    Hoboken411- left panel: Mason "Helping Hands" fundraiser for fire victims, right panel: Chadwick's "Fire Fundraiser Scam"

    They were FOR it before they was AGAINST it.

    (They = Perry Klaussen and assorted Beth Mason operatives.)

    The smear campaign on this latest charitable endeavor by two local businessmen debuted on Mason's 'news source' Hoboken411 (then propagated online by anonymous bloggers) shows how toxic the partisan politics in our City have become in 2012, where everything is low hanging fruit for hateful political operatives. 

    GA  is pretty grossed-out by the orchestrated smear campaign against Rory Chadwick and Joe Branco, organizers of the March 2nd fundraiser at Room 84. I'll bet you are, too.

    And this morning,  HobokenFollower1 reminded me of several similar fundraisers held for victims of the fatal fire at 12th and Washington Street in 2008.

    Now,  GA supports ALL good works to help the needy no matter WHO is the organizer.

    click to enlarge
    Mason's Second Ward Victims Fund hosted fundraiser in 2008

    Mason's 'news source'- the same one that praised Mason's charity toward fire victims-  has called Rory Chadwick's fundraiser a "scam" and Chadwick an "attention whore", "former scam artist convict" and "ex-felon".  

    A longtime Mason blogger 'Boink'  joins in the smear: "PayPal is not a 501c and neither are cash donations at the door and cash for possibly an illegal raffle..." then posts a link to the NYS Department of Corrections.

    In a letter written Feb 2, 2008 reminding people about her upcoming fundraiser,  Mason herself endorsed using PayPal:
    "...Checks must be made out to: Second Ward Victims Fire Fund You can also donate online via PayPal."
    Well, GA didn't find the 'Second Ward Victims Fund' on IRS list of Hoboken 501(c)3s  or any record of it on the IRS web site, which could  mean it's tax-exempt status was revoked, the charity's defunct or...   does it really matter?
     
    The point is... there is no point to mean-spirited, personal attacks on public or private individuals trying to help their neighbors in a crisis.

    So, let the disgraceful hypocrisy of Hoboken411, it's sponsor, Beth Mason and her crew be remembered.

    Meanwhile, do you know who else held a fundraiser for the fire victims in 2008?
    Russo, along with Mayor Dave Roberts, is holding a fundraiser at the Hoboken Elks Club on Feb. 12th - $30 at the door, cash bar and all proceeds go to benefit the families displaced by the fire.


    This group called itself 'Neighbors in Need" and simply requested that checks be mailed to a... P.O. Box?

    Well, we are blessed to live in a community where folks look out for each other and step up to help those who've suffered tragedy.   In 2008 and 2012... anytime.

     


    (Update, 4 pm)

    This email just came in as : Beth's Fundraiser inside
    I know someone who was on that committee to dole out the money she raised in 08.

    He was so incensed because after the weeks of putting it together  she held meeting saying we want "evidence of need" and "show us you're poor" and "proof" of no insurance.

    It took several weeks and by that time everyone had been resettled, so they all gave up and voted to disburse the money evenly as my friend suggested in the first place.

    Mason lost all interest by the end-after the press was over. She actually only raised less than 11k and the average victim got verrrry little.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Legal Storm Brewing for Perry Klaussen?


    That's according to a published report by Da Horsey this afternoon. Da Horsey said this:
       It looks like MSV is not the only venue that suffered copyright issues with Das Klaussen.
    Is it true?

    If so, it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.  The list of The Libeled grows with each passing day, from hospitals accused of "killling patients" to good Samaritans called "attention whores" to Mike Lenz being "charged with racism" to  GA depicted as a Nazi-lover and gun-totin' mama (although he did give me a hot body...)

    Stay tuned, folks.  GA's gonna enjoy this one like a  big, juicy steak!

    Mayor: City's Legal Dept. Looking into B&G Terms of Lease

    Da Horsey was first out of the gate last August reporting on the several critical lease violations at the Boys and Girls Club.

    Violation No. 1: no annual financial reports had been provided by the B&G to the City:
    The complete terms appear in an original ordinance dated November 1994 in City documents. As part of a 50 year agreement, the building at 123 Jefferson Street is leased annually from the City of Hoboken for $2.The terms to the Boys & Girls Club specifically mandate it demonstrate in an annual report to the Business Administrator how it has complied with requirements using the building, the value and cost of its use in its activities along with the continued demonstration of tax exempt status.
    Violation No. 2: the one which has demonstrably harmed the B&G's ability to use their space for the purposes of conducting it's mission during hours of operation, has been subleasing/ renting of whole areas of the building without the City's permission.
     The Lessee agrees to use the facilities for the sole purpose of conducting youth programs and the Lessee activities. It will not rent or lease the facility for commercial purposes without first obtaining City permission nor will any commercial activities be conducted at the facility.
    Shortly after Horsey's expose, GA started hearing from unhappy B&G Club parents, and employees, and have written on the impact of subleasing their space on the kids through reduction in services and programs. 

    Well, thanks to Amanda Staab from Patch, the attention on the B&G's operations has gotten white hot.

    And Staab's headline today is a stunner: Mayor ‘Extremely Concerned’ About Hoboken Boys and Girls Club.

    GA's waited to hear that.

    Patch reports that last September the mayor had requested financial records and reports on the use of the property from the B&G Club:

    All programming and financial records must also be reported to the city’s business administrator. But as of Zimmer’s Sept. 28, 2011 letter, "[the city had] not received any report from the Boys and Girls Club outlining the financials or use of the property."

    As a result, the mayor requested "a full and complete accounting of all agreements over the last ten years for the use of the Boys and Girls Club facilities and all revenues received."

    "I have been advised that numerous commercial activities have taken place at the Boys and Girls Club," Zimmer wrote, "but the city has never been advised."

    She also stated that the facility is not to be used as "an income producing property."
    The City did get a response- financial records for the Club from 2006 - 2011, but nothing for 2005 and prior years.

    The mayor also indicated the City will not interfere with HoLa's use of the building but wrote in her letter that the City expects rents associated with HoLa sublease and ALL OTHER REVENUE received through commercial use of the premises to be paid to the City, as the building belongs to Hoboken's taxpayers.

    Is that being enforced?

    This taxpayer would exchange the could of extra bucks in my pocket for the B&G to fufill it's mission:

    Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County is a 501(c)3 whose mission is to help young people, especially those who need us most, build strong character and realize their full potential as responsible citizens and leaders.

    We do this by providing:
    Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County offers that and more. Club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.

    Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County is a safe place to learn and grow – all while having fun. It is truly The Positive Place For Kids.
    And a truly Positive Place for Kids doesn't turn them away because they're churning cash from their own facility.

    Let's see what the City does next.

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    H411 Attacks Fundraiser for Fire Victims


    The vile, soulless  Hoboken 411 has  hit a new low- attacking the organizers of the March 2nd fundraiser for last night's fire victims as "opportunistic attention-seekers", "attention whores", "business scorpions" and "political opportunists"...  and the fundraiser itself as a "scam".

    Ordinarily GA wouldn't give that unhinged miscreant the time of day.  And neither should you.

    But it's not an ordinary day.

    And the homeless occupants of those  9 destroyed Hoboken condo units won't see an ordinary day for a long time.

    That's why they need help.  And whatever can be raised at Room 84 on March 2nd certainly won't restore their ordinary days, but it will do some good.

    Simply because of Klaussen's personal animus toward Midtown Authentic business owner, Rory Chadwick, and  Joe Branco, the owner of Room 84 he's savaged their proposed March 2nd fundraiser. (Note the previous Chadwick-Branco benefit raised over $5,300 for victims of the Dec. 17 Jackson  Street fire).

    So, why bother discussing this garbage at all?

    Because the idiot tells readers NOT to donate to the fundraiser but instead, tells readers to give directly to the 300 Washington Condo Association.

    Problem with that?

    That is illegal.

    A Condo Association CANNOT accept and disburse monies.  It is a not-for-profit entity, not a clearing house for charitable donations.  It can only make specific disbursements under specified conditions determined by the Internal Revenue Code.

    Further, the idiot posts the NAMES and ADDRESSES of all the fire victims WITHOUT PERMISSION, making them targets for criminals who prey on the most vulnerable.

    Outrageous.  

    As if these poor people don't have enough problems, Klaussen's published a road map for heartless con artists to find them and exploit them in their time of weakness. 

    And suggesting to mail donations to burned-out apartments?  Beyond brain-dead.

    Does he also suggest UPS deliveries to cemetery plots?

    To recap:  Klaussen works to discredit a legitimate fundraiser while proposing (2) alternative ways to donate: one ILLEGAL the other an INSTANT-FAIL.

    So if you know anyone that reads that heap of dung, please apprise them of the truth.

    Thank you.

    At the Scene of the Fire

    At 11am today.

    Returning from the gym this morning, GA stopped by the scene of the fire at 3rd and Washington.

    It's a shock to see.

    Approaching from the north on Washington Street, I noticed a patch of bright blue sky visible through the 5th Floor window of the building's rear; sky where a roof used to be.

    Crossing 3rd street, the full scope of destruction unfolds as you pass McDonald's- you can see the top of the building has caved in, and smoke is still exiting from what remains, as a water hose gushes to prevent an ember in the ruined wood-framed structure from rekindling.

    The impact is visceral; you smell the acrid smoke, you feel the fine mist of water as he wind blows.

    A small crowd stood around watching, and passers-by stopped to join.  A group of Asian men stood huddled on the corner, speaking Chinese, watching. GA assumes the owner(s) of the destroyed grocery store.

    Reporters and cameramen roamed Washington Street, talking to people on the sidelines.  And HFD Chief Blohm stood in the middle of Washington Street, surveying the scene and giving interviews.

    GA asked Chief Blohm if the building would need to be demolished.

    "We can't make that determination, yet"

    Now GA's an animal-lover.  Cats, in particular.  And I know the people all got out safely.  But what about pets?  I asked the Chief if any animals were in the building.

    "A couple of cats.  They didn't make it."

    Oh, G-d.  Poor things.

    Whoever you are who lost your cats, GA sends you my sincere condolences. 

    So what started the fire?  Of course, nobody knows yet.

    But the consensus from eyewitnesses at the scene was that the fire started in the basement or first floor, and spread quickly through a dumbwaiter shaft.

    The back of the building, on 3rd Street, got it the worst.

    Such a lovely, historic building.  GA hopes the shell can be saved.  There is cornice damage to the Washington Street side, but otherwise the facade seems intact. The 3rd street facade didn't fare as well, but hopefully it can be restored.  One hopes.

    GA's thoughts go to those most affected by the blaze, the residents of 300 Washington.

    A fundraiser will be held on Friday, March 2 at Room 84 (84 Washington) from 7 - 10pm.

    Click here for details on Facebook.

    Finally, thanks to our heroic HFD and fired departments assisting from outside Hoboken, for their selflessness and bravery, and for the wonderful job they've done.

    Fire at 300 Washington



    As we are waking up in our own beds in our own homes this morning surrounded by the familiar: our furniture, possessions, photographs, the artifacts of our lives, the residents of 300 Washington are wondering if last night was all a terrible dream.

    Or so GA imagines.

    Because this morning they are clinging to all they have left- themselves and loved ones- from a cruel fire which claimed their homes and possessions.

    But in tragedy, they are blessed to be alive.

    GA woke up surrounded by the familiar, to this terrible news.

    According to Patch, a source reported the fire started in the corner grocery on 3rd and Washington, at around 7 pm.  And spread to all 5 floors of the residential building.  Apparently all got out safely, though some were treated for minor smoke-related injuries. From Patch:
    As of 11 p.m., the fire was under control but not yet out. The building—as well as surrounding buildings—would be put on fire watch through the night and Washington Street was blocked off between Second and Fourth Streets.

    While officials said there was nobody left inside the building, they couldn't tell how many people were evacuated exactly.
    We'll find out more about how the fire started in the coming days.

    Da Horsey has some excellent photography and video coverage of this tragedy.

    In the meantime, a fundraiser is being organized for victims at Room 84 (84 Washington Street)  on Friday, March 2nd from 7 - 10pm.

    Please click HERE for details on Facebook.

    Folks, live each day like it's your last.  Appreciate what you have and who you love.

    Material things, not so important.  It may sound trite, but it could all be gone tomorrow.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    GA on Facebook

    Yep, GA finally took the plunge: http://www.facebook.com/GrafixAvenger

    I have no idea how it works... I've probably spent 10 minutes on Facebook in my entire life- and that was  to download pics of Hoover Boy.   

    OK, I guess I upload pics of my pet now...

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Tabakin- 1, Old Guard- 0 *UPDATED*

    GA NOTE:
    This entire piece has undergone a substantial rewrite- not because the original erred, but a lawyer friend (not Not-Stempler) contacted me to say there was MORE, MORE, MORE to this story. That I'd left out some details. So he added them, and now gets a co-writer's credit.

    by GA and Not Not-Stempler
    ________________________________________

    GA's legal department, Not-Stempler is too busy for me these days, and at $850/hour who can blame him?

    But we did chat last night.  I had forwarded Zimmer's letter on next Wednesday's Special Meeting and wanted his drive-by opinion. This was it:

    "Brilliant strategy by Tabakin"

    Of course he was referring to Corporation Counsel's legal strategy.  Not to put words in Not-Stempler's golden mouth, but the notion of forcing City Council members to pick and choose which suits the City will walk from indeed puts their backs against the wall, and accountability for the City's losses to settle squarely on them.

    Because one can assume that walking away may cost the City more than the fight.

    GA can't offer a legal opinion.

    But on the politics of this 'Special Meeting' I will repeat Not-Stempler: brilliant strategy.

    Because for an administration whose mission is disinfecting City Hall- no accident that Zimmer gave our data banks to the F.B.I.- this is a brilliant way to cast sunlight on the rumored institutionalized corrupt partnership between the entrenched outside counsel, some of whom engaged in collusive practices with prior administration legal departments  and the beneficiaries of frivolous lawsuits.

    Here's how it allegedly worked  for many years: a 'friend' sues the City for some alleged infraction, often frivolous (example: Flo Amato's recent attempt to sue Hoboken for an illegal campaign loan to Peter Cammarano), the City attorney would hire an “outside counsel” (read “politically connected law firm”) and that outside counsel would allow  the suit to drag on and on and on and on, billing hourly.... ka-ching ka-ching. (with the benevolent approval of the city attorney) 
     All this time the politically connected outside counsel is making campaign donations and wining and dining the various politicos whose approval was needed to get and keep the “outside counsel” designation. 
     After enough money has been sucked from the city’s coffers, a suitably generous “settlement” is EVENTUALLY arranged with the assistance of the plaintiff’s attorney.  (There is no coincidence that the same plaintiff’s attorneys keep showing up time and again – they are in on the game as well, as they know that taking a case against the City is a sure thing). From the “settlement” pot: (i) the plaintiff’s attorney gets his cut of the settlement for his fees, as the case was taken on a contingency basis; and (ii) the “friend” gets his slice; and (iii) and the various politicos that make this merry game keep churning all get a taste; and (iv) the outside counsel gets a new case and the game begins again.  
    This was risk free litigation, with the costs of the litigation essentially funded by the City. There was no hurry to bring the case to resolution, legitimately, when the billing is hourly and the results are guaranteed by the City’s coffers.  The rules of the game make sure that everyone gets paid in the end.
    Use your imagination who these 'friends' are and if some are elected officials.  Invented lawsuits were not unheard of, as in I will issue a violation which I know to be bogus, you sue, and the City eventually settles for a handsome amount.  Or, we demote you and then you sue and get back your job as well as back pay and lifetime tenure in your position for which were not qualified for to begin with.  The variations were endless.

    Well, that’s the rumor as to how the game was played.

    And that the buzz about Hoboken in the legal community was that it was a 'soft target'.  Easy money.  Our money.  

    But then comes Zimmer.

    She brings in Michael Kates, a new Corporation Counsel with the directive to 'wrap up' the City's dragging litigation.

    Which cuts off an Old Guard revenue stream.

    And the Old Guard doesn't LIKE that, doesn't like him. So the Old Guard City Council members make his life hell, obstruct him at every turn, berate him publicly and you know what happened next.  Kates quits.  Which was their goal, hoping the City's next hire would 'play ball'.
    Michael Kates: All Ground up


    That didn't happen. The new Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin and Assistant Mellissa Longo were not 'with' them. Instead, the City begins demanding that lawsuits actually are defended and advises adversaries that the City is not caving in on friendly settlements. See what happened to Pa Russo’s worker’s compensation claim as an example.

    What is the Old Guard to do to stop this insanity?

    In response, the Old Guard decides to attack the revenue stream that is funding this horrendous attempt to cut off the gravy train. If we can’t get paid like we always did, then we will cut off the money to fuel this new-fangled and idiotic campaign to handle the City’s litigation in a professional manner on the merits of each case. If the cases are not actually funded for defense, then the City may go into default or lose an undefended motion and the “payday” is then secured.   

    The incredible irony of complaining about excessive litigation by those who have historically manufactured litigation as part of a scheme for their own profit... well, you know it's got to be infuriating for those outside counsel, whose livelihoods are under attack, as well as the “friends” and politicos who have counted on their taste of the hourly fees generated by the unsupervised litigation and the ”settlements”, both funded by the City, to supplement their income.

    So that's why GA thinks the letter is absolutely brilliant.

    Because the 30 pending lawsuits are now dragged into the sunlight and subjected to public scrutiny as a collective.  In other words, you can't 'see' a whole painting if you're only looking at one stroke of the brush. And because the City Council minority has forced his hand, Tabakin's put them ALL out in the public and we get to ask questions. See the pattern. See connections.

    These lawsuits were supposed to fly below the radar- percolate aimlessly until people needed an actual payday. Now we get transparency, thanks to the Old Guard's petulance. 

    Now, don't forget there's Old Guard talk of a COMING lawsuit- with no less than Bush's Florida attorney on board- to challenge the movement of School Board elections to November... while they shout about excessive legal bills.

    You follow?

    Here's what Eric Kurta said on Patch:
    Bingo.

    As for Wednesday's Special Meeting, GA believes much of it will happen in closed session; obviously,  public discussion of ongoing litigation would not be in the City's interest.

    And that's part of the brilliance of Tabakin's strategy, because...

    If a tree grandstands in the forest but there's no one there to hear it did it make a sound?